Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 18:
Hundreds of Odisha Congress workers led by former Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and PCC President Prasad Harichandan today gheraoed RBI Bhubaneswar branch protesting against the demonetisation issue and demanded roll back of the withdrawal restrictions among others.
Speaking to reporters, Patil said that the poor and middle class sections have been badly hit and continue to suffer even 70 days after demonetisation.
“You are offering loans at low interest rates to people who have already withdrawn Rs 8 lakh crore from banks and did not utilise them properly. Is it not out right to tell you what you are doing is wrong,” said Patil.
Besides, the Congress workers also demanded resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel alleging that the Central bank chief was unable to defend the autonomy of the institution.
“Modi government came to power promising poverty alleviation. What they did is restrict the poor from withdrawing their own money from the banks. People are unable to pay for their study, treat members of their families in the villages,” said Harichandan addressing a rally that was taken out from Congress Bhawan in Bhubaneswar to the RBI office here.
In a rare show of unity, former PCC President Niranjan Patnaik and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Narasingha Mishra — who have been at odds with the PCC chief — were seen participating in the rally.
Odisha BJP President Basant Panda, meanwhile, refuted the charged leveled by BJP.
“Congress talks about poor after ruling the country for over 70 years. They have made the country poor. They have brought the poor shame. This demonstration is a political gimmick,” said Panda.
It may be mentioned here that AICC has planned nation-wide protests over demonetisation issue between January 20 and 30.